Editor's note: The author does not wish to include her name on the story out of concern for her family's anonymity.
(CNN) - It was like any blind date. I had dressed in my Saturday best and walked to my favorite brunch restaurant in West Los Angeles to meet a guy - let's call him Raj - for the first time.
I recognized him from the pictures I'd seen, and we greeted each other with smiles and a firm handshake. We had e-mailed a few times and spoken on the phone to confirm our plans. He was polite; he didn't sit down in his chair until I did, and he paid the bill. Our conversation was casual to begin with: favorite movies, music, plans for the summer. No one would have guessed this setup was to be the start of an arranged marriage.
Most Westerners may think the concept of arranged marriage is backward or antiquated - and if you watch the old Indian movies, it can come across that way: two people meet once, or not at all, before their wedding day and then are forced to make a marriage work without even being consulted about their partner. In my family, at least, that was rarely the case. My parents met and spoke before their wedding day in India and were asked whether they each saw a future with the other.
It's easy for me to rebel against this tradition my family has maintained and say, "That was then, this is now." But despite having been born and raised in America, where arrangements like this are far from a cultural norm, I understand their perspective. All they want for me is security.
This wasn't so much an arranged marriage, but an arranged date, with great interaction, then maybe the possibility of marriage.
It is like legalized slave trading.
Really, Self hating much?
It's been going on for generations because the expectation is to keep family legacy (money, mostly) within their own social classes and ethnic places. I don't agree entirely, but I do understand it. The family structure is at least intact and they are led by decent values within their own culture, which is how they prefer to keep it for the future.
NEW YORK: Renowned Indian activist and novelist Arundhati Roy has decried the silence of the international community over the continued “brutal Indian occupation of Kashmir” and said Kashmiris should be given the right to self-determination……
She said so little was known about the atrocities being committed by more than half a million Indian troops, the continuing repression and indignities let loose on Kashmiri men, women and children.
More than 700,000 troops were concentrated in the tiny valley, with checkpoints at every nook and corner of Kashmiri towns and cities. The huge Indian presence, she added, was in sharp contrast with 160,000 US troops in Iraq.
Ms Roy alleged that Indian army or security personnel were killing young children, adding that Kashmiris were not radical Islamists or jihadists as India portrayed them. She deplored the Indian government’s attempts to demonise Kashmiris who were moderate Muslims.